A Nice Guy

Serial is a podcast by Sarah Koenig, where the audience is given a weekly episode into the events that led to Adnan Syed, the main character, left to carry out a sentence in prison for the murder of his then ex-girlfriend Hae Minh Lee. Throughout the podcast Adnan is potrayed by many as a nice kid whom would never be capable of such an act like murder. Sarah, a journalist has taken interest in the case and aims to help the audience understand the inconsistencies with the case that was made against Adnan 16 years ago. Sarah and Adnan have logged many hours over the phone in the course of her story and when we hear Adnan speak, he sounds very comfortable and relaxed speaking about his past life and the events that led up to his incarceration. It isn’t until about halfway through the  season we hear a different Adan when he asks Sarah why she is doing this story about him and Sarah responds, “My interest in it honestly has been you, like you’re a really nice guy. Like I like talking to you, you know” Adnan’s response is, “I just, yeah, oh, I mean, you don’t even really know me though uh Koenig. I’m, you don’t. I- I- maybe you do. Maybe, I don’t- we only talk on the phone, I don’t understand what you mean. I’m not- I mean, it’s-it’s-it’s just weird to hear you say that, because, I don’t even really know you–

Sarah is shocked to hear Adnan saying she doesn’t really know after speaking to him for so long in person and over the phone, and asks him to explain what he meant and what does she not know about him the next day. Adnan responds ” To be honest with you, it kinda- I feel like I want to shoot myself, if I hear someone else say, I don’t think he did it cause you’re a nice guy, Adnan. So I guess kinda, you know, cause you wouldn’t know that, but I hear people say that to me over the years and it just drives me crazy. I would love someone to hear, I would to hear love someone to say, I don’t think that you did it because I looked at the case and it looks kind of flimsy. I would rather someone say, Adnan, I think you’re a jerk, you’re selfish, you know, you’re a crazy SOB, you should just stay in there for the rest of your life except that I looked at your case and it looks, you know, like a little off. You know like something’s not right.

Though this part of the podcast may seem  very out of character of what their conversations have been like prior to this, I feel this is important in the fact that Sarah decided to share this and make it a part of her story for the audience to hear. It goes with the melodramatic style of Serial and shows us even though Sarah does in fact care for Adnan she is writer before anything else. We have to remind ourselves there is obviously many hours of other conversation between Sarah and Adnan that she specifically does not include in her story because it is not relevant to what she wants to portray to us as listeners and it doesn’t fit the conventional murder mystery style of this story. Everything up to this point and this particular conversation especially continues to grasp our attention and makes us question our previous thoughts on whether Adnan is innocent or not. Sarah is a great writer and knows how to spread the facts to give her audience just enough to keep them coming back weekly.



  1. Savannah Stellini · November 16, 2015

    I enjoyed reading your guys’ ideas on this topic. Like you said, Sarah has become invested in this case, and has grown a relationship with Adnan, whether he sees it that way or not, she has formed an emotional tie to him. She believes he is a good guy, therefore she believes he is innocent. What Adnan tries to portray and express in this weeks podcast, is that not every one who is nice, is innocent, therefore not every bad guy, is guilty. He just wants people to see he is innocent because of the case details, not because of his personal characteristics.


    • comsculture · December 7, 2015

      I agree with you Savannah and Sarah has become invested in the case as well as with Adnan. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good or bad thing though. To me he just rubs me the wrong way and that’s just my opinion.


  2. Troy Black · November 18, 2015

    Great blog. The fact that he wants his case to be seen as an evidence based one and a not just emotionally based.


  3. Amanda · November 20, 2015

    The many hours of discussion that you had mentioned does make you question what exactly has been left out and if she paints Adnan in a “self-depricating” light in order to make him see more innocent. It’s fair to assume that she can’t put EVERYTHING they discuss on the air, for time and relevance, but what are we missing?


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